INKLINGS: Trails of tours . . and Christmas special

  • Thursday, December 5, 2013

Six months ago a green and gold trolley appeared on the streets of Summerville taking residents and visitors alike on tours through our history. The pilot program, offered by the Chamber of Commerce, ends this month with a series of Christmas specials beginning two weeks from today. And yes Virginia, there will be more tours in 2014, thanks to excellent customer assessments. But here’s what’s coming up in December.

Tours, which leave from the Summerville Visitor Center, will be held Friday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 21. Friday historic tours are at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and a Good Eats tour is scheduled for 11 a.m.

A new holiday tour date, Saturday, December 21, has been added. The 11 a.m., tour at $25, is Christmas Southern Style with Tim Lowry. As you travel about town enjoying a sampler box of Lowcountry delicacies, Storyteller Tim Lowry, southern folklorist and raconteur, will tell stories of firecrackers, goldie wrens, Sandy Claw, praying oxen, and many more holiday traditions of the Old South. The trolley will make a special stop at the Timrod Library (which is decorated for Christmas) for a brief tour of this historic building and its rare books collection.

At 1pm, for $25, is Christmas on the Sweet Tea Trolley Tour with Barbara Hill. Take a trip down the Sweet Tea Trail in Historic Summerville, The Birthplace of Sweet Tea. This 1½ hour guided tour will take you on the back roads of our quaint southern town where tea isn’t the only thing that’s sweet. You’ll enjoy a sampler box of Lowcountry delicacies as you tour our thoughtfully preserved downtown, historic homes and get a glimpse of where sweet tea first started. As an added bonus you’ll tour Historic Linwood Gardens, named one of www.BedandBreakfast.com’s “Top 10 Garden Inns” in the world. The Saturday tours are a special holiday event, with gift certificates, for these tours only, available the Summerville Visitor Center.

Just to whet your appetite, the Good Eats tours are a recent addition. Having “tasted” one of these tours myself I can tell you they are delightful And as a twist on a tasting in a restaurant, the tour takes you to the restaurant and personnel come aboard the trolley with individual samples of their wares. The real “dessert” to this experience is Tim’s storytelling. He told an outstanding Gullah tale on the tour I took, only one of many in his repertoire. You’ll savor them as well as the food.

What about 2014? First of all no tours in January. In February tours will start being held the first three Fridays of each month. Tourists will also be treated to a new trolley – this one is red and gold – and tours will leave from a Town Square location. Tina Zimmerman, the Chamber’s tourism coordinator, said “We want to direct tourists to our most historic area, and having the tours begin and end there will be a bonus to everyone downtown.”

For more information go to go to lowcountrylooptrolley.com/summerville or call the Chamber at 873-2931.

Jan Hursey, DREAM’s executive director is taking over the trolley project and is planning for more far reaching tours next year.

So come out and learn about your own town, bring visitors, and/or tell newcomers about the tours. They are a wonderful way to experience Summerville.

And delicious in every way

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